Friday, February 13, 2009

Pinot Noir is for Lovers!

Valentines Day Wine

Hello fellow Valentines! Yes, its Valentine's Day already and time to get into the romantic modus operandus. I will make this short, but if you are cooking for your sweetheart or maybe cooking together at home this year, PLEASE pick a Pinot Noir to have with dinner. Buy what you can afford or open a bottle of Pinot you have bee saving. But if you buy try not to skimp and be very selective in the under $20 range. Cheap Pinot is in many cases not necessarily Pinot, but rather bad red wine! Pinot is not easy to grow or make and one reason why it can be expensive and in some cases disappointingly expensive. Its a fickle grape and every year can taste drastically different. If you are out to dinner of course buy what's best with the food on the menu or what best suits your budget in this time of budget crunching!

Pinot (Noir) goes surprisingly well with a broad range of foods from Roasted Chicken to Steak. French and New Zealand Pinot tend to go well with more subtle foods like poultry, pork, and rich fish dishes. New world Pinot will go perfectly well with those dishes but also have enough to stand up to mildly seasoned beef, such as beef tenderloin or filet Megon.

Whether from Burgundy (France), Oregon, California, New Zealand or Western Australia, Pinot Noir is a chameleon wine, crafting itself after its surroundings. That is why with so many regions do you get so many different results with the wine. It wows you without trying as hard as Cabernet or Merlot wines that are brawny and full of big tannins that thump their chests. When Pinot Noir is at its apex it is akin to a slinky, sexy woman in a red velvet dress sauntering through your visuals! Its perfume entices you and its flavors seduce you! But I don't want to overdo it, Pinot is not a supermodel - it is not perfect and in the best cases not made to be perfect. No Pinot Noir is not "made up" or perfect without design or intent. They are perfect because of what it is and where it came from: its "terroir". In fact many Pinot are actually lauded because of their imperfections. We all have imperfections just like any wine and make us, just like a wine, individual and distinct. If we were all the same and all perfect, just think how boring that would be! If we were talking movie stars, Pinot Noir is Gwyneth Paltrow or Audrey Hepburn. Timeless and ethereal!

Enjoy some Pinot Noir this Valentine's Day! If you need a recommendation email or send me a text if you are at stuck at the Pinot section and don't know what to do!


Wednesday, February 04, 2009

2006 Cocodrilo Cabernet Sauvignon
Mendoza, Argentina - $16-$18

Hello fellow winos! Another value wine for you guys! The Cocodrilo has been consumed the last 3 vintages in a row multiple times in this household. Did I mention that Vina Cobos is partially run by Paul Hobbs? Heck, he has a heavy hand in the winemaking! Of course price has gone up as word has gotten around about how these wines are exceptional values. At this price the Cabernet and the other Felino wines are a great deal. A member of my "all time value case" (the best 12 wines for your bucks at under $20)! This year the 2007 Cabernet is called Felino instead of Cocodrilo. Same goes for the Malbec, Merlot and the Chardonnay. The Chardonnay is new to the lineup. Calling each of the wines Felino is also a change in direction for the marketing of these wines. I liked each different name, but I guess it makes sense from a marketing standpoint to associate more wines with one label, especially as good as these wines are! So, on to the tasting notes!

Color: Purple-red edges, dark core!

Nose: Currants, spicy & earthy, some tobacco and iron in the background

Palate: Spicy currants, some cassis and tobacco, chocolate comes around later after an hour or so....delicious!



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